in beautiful Hawaii began twenty-five years ago with little more than a Sports Utility Vehicle, and a box of warm clothes. Now, tours begin in custom made, 13 passenger mini coaches, equipped with heating and air, spacious seating, first aid kits, phones, arctic quality parkas, and huge windows perfect for admiring the terrain. Ride in comfort as your guide entertains you with fun facts about island geography as well as cultural and natural history on the island.
Begin your adventure at one of three pick up points, Kaulua Kona, King Shops (at Waikulua), or at the juncture of Highways 190 and 200. As you begin up the mountain, expert guides share the history, geology, and geography of the area. While on your way to the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center clients can enjoy the view of Hawaii’s beautiful flora and fauna.
Once at the visitor’s center guests can enjoy a warm meal while learning fascinating facts about the astronomers work with the World’s largest telescopes. When leaving the center to begin the 1/2 hour journey to the summit, patrons are given hooded arctic quality parkas and gloves for their comfort. Once at the summit, guests can watch the observatories open, as guides explain about the famous observations of Gemini, Subaru, and Keck.
Visitors are given plenty of time to enjoy the view and take pictures before the tour moves back down to mid mountain, where the view is still great, but the weather is more pleasant for sky gazing. While at mid mountain, guests are given warm beverages and cookies, while their guides explain the sights that can be viewed with the powerful portable telescope.
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The tour which begins mid morning lasts approximately seven to eight hours, depending on season and weather conditions.
The tour operates 364 days a year.
2008-2009 prices are $189.12 plus tax, per person
Reservations can be made online at www.maunakea.com or by phone (888) 322-2366.
Reservation specialists are available 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Hawaii time, seven days a week.